Cyan Banister
Cyan Banister

SAN FRANCISCO– Cyan Banister knows a thing or two about investing in marketplaces. Through Banister Capital, the company she owns with her husband Scott, she’s invested in Uber and Postmates, two of the companies leading the charge in the sharing economy.

She’s not done, either. At the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco today, Banister said she’s looking to invest in more marketplaces.

So what does it take to catch her interest?

It starts with a founder who’s committed to customer service, and who she thinks can provide great customer support at all hours. Convenience is one of the factors driving the sharing economy, and Banister is interested in ensuring that whatever company they invest in is able to provide a solid customer experience.

“We’re looking for someone who has a 24/7 focus who can deliver amazing customer support,” she said.

Of course, a great idea isn’t everything. Banister also said that the marketplace has to provide something that people want to buy.

Banister is also interested in the potential economic benefits of growing the sharing economy by supporting people interested in finding work.

“The reason why we’re really excited about marketplaces is that we feel it can help solve joblessness,” she said.

In particular, Banister called out what Postmates did for the world of bicycle couriers. In addition to carrying packages for their normal jobs, they were also able to bolster their income by running sandwiches to hungry office workers.

In the future, she sees more businesses like Postmates and Uber making it possible for people to make a living on their time and with skills they already have.

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  • guest

    Can Geekwire please stop calling postmates and uber “sharing”? maybe they’re different from traditional service provider businesses but it’s not sharing. Sharing is just a word used by companies that don’t want to follow the laws and regulations for the services they are providing. When I read that in the first paragraph I don’t know if it’s Geekwire pushing an agenda here or Geekwire just not knowing better or -worse- Cyan Banister not knowing better! Geekwire needs a little NPOV here. I note that she appears to use the word marketplace to describe these companies so maybe she does get it. Creating a better marketplace to allow service providers to connect with customers can be innovative. Just operating without following the law isn’t.

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